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Today In History. What Happened This Day In History.

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


  • 2016 Today in History August 23
    1244 Turks expel the crusaders under Frederick II from Jerusalem.
    1305 Scottish patriot William Wallace is hanged, drawn, beheaded, and quartered in London.
    1541 Jacques Cartier lands near Quebec on his third voyage to North America.
    1711 A British attempt to invade Canada by sea fails.
    1775 King George III of England refuses the American colonies' offer of peace and declares them in open rebellion.
    1821 After 11 years of war, Spain grants Mexican independence as a constitutional monarchy.
    1863 Union batteries cease their first bombardment of Fort Sumter, leaving it a mass of rubble but still unconquered by the Northern besiegers.
    1900 Booker T. Washington forms the National Negro Business League in Boston, Massachusetts.
    1902 Fanny Farmer, among the first to emphasize the relationship of diet to health, opens her School of Cookery in Boston.
    1914 The Emperor of Japan declares war on Germany.
    1926 American film star Rudolph Valentino dies, causing world-wide hysteria and a number of suicides.
    1927 Immigrant laborers Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are executed for a robbery they did not commit. Fifty years later, in 1977, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis establishes a memorial in the victims' honor.
    1939 Joseph Stalin and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop sign a non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany, freeing Adolf Hitler to invade Poland and Stalin to invade Finland.
    1942 German forces begin an assault on the major Soviet industrial city of Stalingrad.
    1944 German SS engineers begin placing explosive charges around the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
    1950 Up to 77,000 members of the U.S. Army Organized Reserve Corps are called involuntarily to active duty to fight the Korean War.
    1952 Arab League security pact linking seven Arab States in a military, political and economic alliance goes into effect.
    1954 First flight of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.
    1958 The Second Taiwan Strait crisis begins: People's Liberation Army bombards island of Quemoy during Chinese Civil War.
    1961 Belgium sends troops to Rwanda-Urundi during bloody Tutsi-Hutu conflict.
    1966 Lunar Orbiter 1 takes first photograph of Earth from the moon.
    1975 Pathet Lao communists occupy Vientiane, Laos.
    1977 Bryan Allen, piloting the Gossamer Condor, wins the Kremer prize for the first human-powered aircraft to fly a one-mile, figure-eight course.
    1979 Iranian army opens offensive against Kurds.
    1979 Bolshoi Ballet dancer Alexander Godunov defects in New York City.
    1990 Armenia declares independence from USSR.
    1990 East and West Germany announce they will unite on Oct 3.
    1996 Osama bin Laden issues message entitled "A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places."
    2006 Natascha Kampusch,  abducted at the age of 10 in Austria, escapes from her captor, Wolfgang Priklopil, after 8 years of captivity.
    2011 Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi is overthrown after National Transitional Council forces take control of Bab al-Azizia compound during the 2011 Libyan Civil War.
    2011 A 5.8 earthquake centered at Mineral, Virginia, damages the Washington Monument, forcing the landmark to close for repairs.
    Born on August 23
    1754 Louis XVI, King of France during the French Revolution who met his fate at the guillotine.
    1755 Jean Baptiste Lislet-Geoffroy, French geographer.
    1883 Jonathan Wainwright, U.S. general who fought against the Japanese on Corregidor in the Philippines and was forced to surrender.
    1898 Albert Claude, biologist who won the 1974 Nobel for his work on the sub-structure of the cell. He never graduated from high school.
    1912 Gene Kelly, dancer, choreographer and actor.
    1931 H.O. Smith, molecular biologist credited with helping 'open the door' on genetic engineering.
    1934 Sonny (Christian) Jurgensen, professional football player and sports announcer.
    1934 Barbara Eden, actress (I Dream of Jeannie TV series).
    1935 Sir Roy Colin Strong, the youngest director of both Britain's National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; recipient of Shakespeare Prize.
    1938 Roger John Reginald Greenaway, songwriter ("I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing,"), record producer. He and co-writer Roger Cook were first UK team to receive an Ivor Novello Award as Songwriters of the Year in two successive years.
    1942 Patricia McBride, ballerina; in 1961 became youngest principal in the New York City Ballet.
    1946 Keith Moon, drummer in The Who.
    1951 Queen Noor of Jordan (Lisa Najeeb Halaby), queen consort 1978–99.
    1951 Akhmad Kadyrov, President of Chechnya (Oct 5, 2003–May 9, 2004).
    1956 Andreas Floer, mathematician, creator of the Floer homology.
    1965 Roger Avary, screenwriter, director (Killing Zoe); shared Academy Award with co-writer Quentin Tarantino for best original screenplay (Pulp Fiction).